According to the Doctors Foster and Smith website, some bacteria are essential for maintaining your dog's health. Such "beneficial bacteria" actually help your dog digest his food, allowing him to absorb essential vitamins and nutrients. Beneficial bacteria also strengthen the dog's immune system by multiplying to "crowd out" harmful bacteria and prevent them from causing disease.
Intestinal flora is beneficial bacteria in your dog's intestines to power his digestive system and break down foods into their basic components to be more easily absorbed in your dog's body, according to the Doctors Foster and Smith website. Intestinal flora also helps produce vitamin K, essential for blood clotting, according to the Pet Education website, and vitamin B, necessary for producing energy, according to the Pet Supplies Review site.
Lactobacillus is a beneficial intestinal bacteria commonly found in yogurt, states the Doctors Foster and Smith website. Yogurt facilitates digestion and is useful for treating diarrhea, according to the Vet Info website. Give your dog one tbsp. of yogurt per day, either on top of her food or mixed into the kibbles of her dry food.
According to the Best Dog Food Guide website, probiotics, or Direct Fed Micro organisms (DFMs), are beneficial bacteria that you administer orally. While premium dog foods contain probiotics, you can also give them as a liquid. Probiotics are particularly useful for facilitating digestion during stressful times in your dog's life, such as visiting the veterinarian or the groomer, having surgery or being left alone. They also provide a fresh supply of beneficial bacteria if your dog is using antibiotics because such prescribed drugs often kill the valuable bacteria along with the harmful. Give your dog probiotics and antibiotics four to five hours apart, says the Best Dog Food Guide site. Probiotics also help prevent irritable bowel syndrome and bloat.